Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Corn Chowder

Yesterday Labor Day here in the US, a holiday for the worker bees. We had no plans so we gathered some friends together for a get-together, potluck style. I made some sandwiches with chutney and tomatoes and lots of soft butter. And a pineapple cream cake- by making this basic yellow cake in a 9 x 13 pan, then drizzling it with pineapple juice (drained from a can of diced pineapple in juice), and topping with vanilla whipped cream and chunks of pineapple (from the aforementioned can). It was very simple to assemble and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Here's another recipe I tried last week. Corn chowder- a thick, sometimes milky stew of corn- has been on my summer recipe bucket list for a while. Fresh corn is flooding the produce aisle these days and last week I finally bought some. Cutting kernels from ears of corn seems like a tedious task but only takes a couple of minutes when you get down to it. I use a sharp knife to cut the kernels, then run the back of the knife down the ears to squeeze out the "corn milk".

I looked up several recipes for corn chowder and ended up making my own recipe up as I went along, based on what I had on hand. This is one of those simple heart-warming soups with fresh vegetables in a creamy, savory broth.

Corn Chowder

1. Cut the kernels and corn milk from 3 ears of fresh corn and set aside.

2. In a pot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil.

3. Saute 1 medium finely diced onion until translucent.

4. Add 3 chopped cloves of garlic, 1 medium chopped carrot, 2 medium diced potatoes and stir.

5. Add 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast and 1 tsp. herbes de Provence (or your choice of seasoning) and stir for a minute.

6. Add corn kernels, 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Simmer until the veggies are tender.

7. Add 1 cup milk. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.

8. Stir in 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy the week! I have a busy month coming up but hopefully I'll be back here next week.






29 comments:

  1. Corn Chowder looks so yummy! I have been making sweet corn soup and corn pudding. Hope the summer went well for you. We were in STL last week and thinking of you. Love to Lila and Duncan! He reminds me of marble cake every time I see his pic :)

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    1. Oh Bala we do miss our lovely friends (and favorite restaurants!) in STL.

      LOL Marble cake! I never thought of that but of course Duncan looks like a big slice of marble cake :)

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  2. Looks so tempting. Love this soup :)

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  3. hi.. is the yeast for that umami flavour? what could we use instead of yeast.

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    1. Corn has a ton of umami flavor on its own, but yes, nutritional yeast adds a lot of savory flavor to this soup.

      One alternative would be to use vegetable stock instead of water (and skip the nutritional yeast). Another is to use soy sauce instead of the yeast.

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  4. The pineapple fresh cream cake is an all time favorite in my family. The only two kinds of fresh cream cakes known when I was growing up was this and the black forest :-) both kinds we devoured. I am curious about Nutritional yeast too. Do you recommend it? Are there other recipes you use this in? The corn chowder looks so comforting.

    Khaled Hosseini's new book 'And the Mountains Echoed' is an excellent read so far. Hubby & I are reading it at the same time, as time permits ofcourse :P so there are 2 bookmarks in the book :-) we love to discuss it and since I am a few pages ahead of him I keep teasing him that I'll reveal what's coming next. :D I am kinda wicked that way. LOL!

    - Priti

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    1. Yup- the pineapple cake totally reminded me of the one from bakeries in India. Only I skipped the bright red maraschino cherries.

      I'll write about nutritional yeast in next week's post so keep an eye out!

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  5. Thats bowl will definitely keep me warm, love to have a sip.

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  6. The cake sounds delicious! Do you make your own whipping cream or do you store bought? If you make your own, would you describe how? Because mine takes such a long time to get whipped and the mostly destabilizes in a few hours.
    I love corn chowder. I have bookmarked the recipe to make it soon!

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    1. I make my own whipping cream- have never tried the store bought tubs. There's nothing to it- Just pour cream into a large bowl and whip away with a wire whisk until you get soft peaks (NOT stiff peaks). It takes a few minutes and my arms do ache a bit but honestly it is easy. I always add a tiny bit of powdered sugar and vanilla at the end.

      Chilling the bowl and whisk can be helpful. The cream should be cold- straight from the fridge.

      As for destabilizing, my leftover cream-covered cake was fine for over 25 hours. But I tend to make the cream right before serving.

      By the way, if you own a food processor, it is super easy and quick to make whipped cream in it!

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    2. Sangeetha,

      If your whipped cream goes flat in a few hours check the fat content on the carton. It should ideally be between 36% to 40% for heavy whipping cream. The higher the butterfat the more stable it is after being whipped to peaks. I have also worked with one that had 35% butterfat and it was fine but I wouldn't buy anything below that.

      Also, buy pasteurized instead of ultra-pasteurized which has extended shelf-life but is not a good choice for whipped cream frosting.

      Good Luck! :-)

      - Priti

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    3. Thanks Nupur and Priti! Very helpful tips!

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  7. Sounds like a great meal - I love fresh corn and I made corn chowder recently and was surprised that I have a few chowder recipes on my blog - I think it appeals to me

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    1. I don't know why I don't make chowder more often! Such a satisfying meal!

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  8. Pineapple cake sounds fabulous Nupur -- and easy (my kind of baking) ;)

    Corn chowder, that is such a unique take with the cheese at the end! I've made a few chowders in my day -- usually with clams or salmon. I've made succotash -- a sort of early 'chowder' with corn and the cranberry beans in hot milk. I love your version here :)

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    1. Ooh succotash- another thing on my "cooking bucket list" :)

      The pineapple cake is super easy and a crowd pleaser.

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  9. Sounds like a fun way to spend Labor Day, with good food and good friends. Ours was quieter but welcome nonetheless. Your corn chowder looks delicious. I must confess I use frozen more often than not in recipes.

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    1. I was pretty exhausted at the end of the day and wishing for Tuesday off ;) But it was fun and I'm glad we got some friends together.

      Like you, I use frozen corn but when fresh corn is fresh and plentiful, it is not much more effort to use that instead.

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  10. The soup sounds lovely. We had a relaxing and uneventful labor day (well- how ever relaxed one can be with an 8 month old who is determined to explore)..I made 'kandhi podi'/parappu podi for the first time this weekend and felt all 'domestic goddes-y' (even tho' it isn't hard at all)'..haha (usually my mother in law, my grandmother or Grand Sweets provide our supply of podis..:))

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    1. Lavanya- I can totally relate to the wonderful feeling of learning to make a traditional and beloved dish!

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  11. very very comforting chowder,looks so perfectly creamy with bits of corn dotting it....delicious :-)

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    1. It was :) I love the bits of corn!

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  12. You've reminded me that I've been wanting to make corn chowder too! It is being served right now in practically every restaurant in this city. Love your cheese addition. Way to make something good even more amazing.

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    1. A little bit of cheese seemed to add an enhanced savory taste- hope you have a chance to make corn chowder soon!

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  13. Good Morning! I am literally craving for your post. :-)

    - Priti

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  14. I like corn but I have heard from multiple sources that most corn grown in the United States (even the organic kind) is most likely genetically modified. So, with a heavy heart, I turn away from corn... :(

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